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Paddle through 16 breathtaking and prize-winning underwater photos

From curious seals to graceful devil rays, the creatures of the sea posed for some spectacular shots.

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Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
Swirling ballet of the three spinetail devil rays, as two males pursue a female.
1 of 16 Duncan Murrell/Ocean Art

Dance of the rays

The Best of Show image from the 2018 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition was shot by Duncan Murrell in Honda Bay off the Philippines. It uses soft light to accentuate the swirling ballet of the three spinetail devil rays, as two males pursue a female. In addition to the best in show honor, Murrell won first place in the marine life category, and a cruise to Indonesia's southern islands. 

Greg Lecoeur of Nice, France, won first place in the cold water category and a six-night dive package in Indonesia for this image of a friendly seal.
2 of 16 Greg Lecoeur/Ocean Art

Sealed with a kiss

Greg Lecoeur of Nice, France, won first place in the cold water category and a six-night dive package in Indonesia for this image of a friendly seal.

A ravenous unmolted spider crab fiercely feasting upon a freshly molted crab.
3 of 16 P.T. Hirschfield/Ocean Art

Cannibal crab

PT Hirschfield won first place in the compact behavior category, and a seven-night dive package, for his image taken off Victoria, Australia. It shows a ravenous unmolted spider crab fiercely feasting upon a freshly molted crab.

Red hairy shrimp.
4 of 16 Sejung Jang/Ocean Art

Hairy shrimp

Sejung Jang took first place in the compact macro category and won a seven-night cruise for this shot, taken in Anilao, Philippines. It was the Korean photographer's first time seeing red hairy shrimp.

Jellyfish off of Taiwan.
5 of 16 Melody Chuang/Ocean Art

Dancing jellyfish

Melody Chuang won first place in the compact wide-angle category for this shot of jellyfish off of Taiwan. Her husband, Stan Chen, used a flashlight to backlight his wife's photos as the couple followed the jellyfish for over a mile.

A sharp-eared enope squid in Hawaii.
6 of 16 Jeff Milisen/Ocean Art

Squidward

Jeff Milisen won first place in the macro category and a diving trip for this photo of a sharp-eared enope squid in Hawaii. He followed it to a depth of 90 feet before deciding "it was time to leave my new little friend at peace."

A clown fish and its eggs.
7 of 16 Fabrice Dudenhofer/Ocean Art

My babies

Fabrice Dudenhofer won first place in the mirrorless behavior category, and a seven-night trip to the Solomon Islands, for this shot of a clown fish and its eggs, taken in the waters off Japan. The photographer reported that the parents swam endlessly around the eggs in order to oxygenate them.

Three big-belly seahorse fry in the waters off Victoria, Australia.
8 of 16 Steven Walsh/Ocean Art

Horsing around

Steven Walsh took first place in the mirrorless macro category, winning a seven-night dive package in Palau. His photograph shows three big-belly seahorse fry in the waters off Victoria, Australia.

Three spotted dolphins frolicking off the Bahamas.
9 of 16 Eugene Kitsios/Ocean Art

Out for a swim

Eugene Kitsios won first place in the mirrorless wide-angle category and a nine-night dive package for this photo of three spotted dolphins frolicking off the Bahamas.

A giant oceanic manta ray.
10 of 16 Alvin Cheung/Ocean Art

Ray of light

Alvin Cheung took first place in the novice DSLR category and won a seven-night dive package for this photo, showing a giant oceanic manta ray becoming curious about another diver in Socorro, Mexico.

A nudibranch (a type of soft-bodied mollusk) in Anilao, Philippines.
11 of 16 Flavio Vailati/Ocean Art

Inside the eggs

Flavio Vailati won first place in the Nudibranchs category and a seven-night dive package for this photo of a nudibranch (a type of soft-bodied mollusk) in Anilao, Philippines.

Spotted rat fish.
12 of 16 Claudio Zori/Ocean Art

Ready for my close-up

Claudio Zori took first place in the portrait category and won a cruise to Indonesia for this picture of a spotted rat fish, taken in front of God's Pocket dive resort in British Columbia, Canada.

Soft coral growing on mangrove roots in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.
13 of 16 Yen-Yi Lee/Ocean Art

Coral and mangrove

Yen-Yi Lee took first place in the Reefscapes category, winning a seven-night dive package, for this image of soft coral growing on mangrove roots in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.

A hairy shrimp in Anilao, Philippines.
14 of 16 Edison So/Ocean Art

Hairy flames

Edison So took first place in the Supermacro category and won a seven-night dive package for this image of a hairy shrimp in Anilao, Philippines.

A shot dubbed "Disco Nudi," which uses a Photoshop filter to create a swirl around a nudibranch spotted in Bali, Indonesia.
15 of 16 Bruno Van Saen/Ocean Art

Disco nudi

Bruno Van Saen took first place in the Underwater Art category and won a weeklong cruise for this shot dubbed "Disco Nudi," which uses a Photoshop filter to create a swirl around a nudibranch spotted in Bali, Indonesia.

A humpback whale and her calf.
16 of 16 François Baelen/Ocean Art

Gentle giants

François Baelen took first place in the wide-angle category and won a nine-day trip for this photograph of a humpback whale and her calf, taken in the Western Indian Ocean.

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